Sunday, 6 November 2016

Hey all.

My name is Erik Christensen, I am an Environments modeler at Weta Digital and photogrammetery is a massive part of it, I mainly use Reality Capture for my scans, due to the cheap but powerful nature of the program, it has its kinks but the results are awesome.
I have gotten quite far so there will be a few images in this initial post, however I will try my best to answer any questions you may have about photogrammetery or my methods in subsequent replies.

Anyway, enough of an intro.

The idea:

I want to build a small photogrammetery studio for shooting small to medium sized objects (Rocks), with the goal of a fully automated turntable and camera shutter and a really nice rock library.
My idea is based around a half sphere of lights, producing enough light to uniformly cover my target.

The photos will be shot on either a black or solid blue background (for plants, leaves and branches for easy masking)

I ultimately want to rebuild the dome to use polarized lights, however that will require a lot more thought.

My gear:

I am using a Sony RX100 IV, A really tidy little camera, great for me as I can carry it everywhere even when not intending to photoscan (Gotta live your hobbies, right?)

I made a simple model of my idea, which was thrown out of the window as soon as I stepped into a hardware store.

I worked out that it would be more efficient to purchase some cheap PVC pipe and strap LED strips to them, connect them at the top with some form of cylinder and mount the camera in the center. A trip to the hardware shop got me all the equipment needed at under 35NZD

I got 5m rolls of 60LEDs/m for roughly 22USD, Powering them with a old computer PSU I had lying around

Around this point I realized that my LEDs were cool white and not from the set warm white ones I got, However this turned out OK as I need more light anyways

First test of the dome netted alright results, light coming from the sides could of been better, however all that was required was some cheap reflector material made out of a bedroll with a silvery side, diffuses the light and gives a great amount of bounce!

Test with a friends leather bag, still need to shift the area of the turntable closer to the center of the dome.

Latest image as of 26th October, Getting a better idea of where the light hits are, then comes the diffuser and automated turntable!

Thanks for reading, hope you stick around for when I start producing 3d results!


  1. Can you give detail on the fixture that holds the PVC pipes together at the top of your dome?